Like most other legal processes, divorce is often a complicated procedure involving a lot of time, effort, and paperwork – not to mention the emotional pain experienced throughout the period. But can it get any more complicated if you’re not a resident of Texas? Are you even allowed to file for divorce in the Lone Star State if you’re not Texan?
Why can I file for divorce?
The short answer is: Yes, you can file for divorce even if you’re not Texan. Thanks to state family law, “nonresident” spouses can file for divorce for as long as their partner has been a resident of Texas for at least the last six months from filing.
Is there anything else I should consider?
Even if you are from out of state, you must still abide by the divorce process in Texas. Here are some considerations you should make:
- Where to file your divorce: You must file in the district court county where your partner has lived for the past 90 days.
- Interim attorney fees: If you can’t afford to hire a lawyer, a judge may grant your request to have your spouse pay for one through interim attorney fees. Note that local practices involving interim attorney fees may differ across counties.
- Child custody: If you have children with your partner, filing for custody can only be done in the children’s home state – where they have lived for the past six months.
- Division of property: Note that Texas and your home state may each have different laws regarding how property is distributed following a divorce. Texas is one of nine US states that is a community property jurisdiction, which means the couple equally owns any property acquired during their marriage even after the split. On the other hand, other states may observe equitable distribution, wherein the court will divide the properties between the spouses based on certain guidelines.
If you’re looking to file a divorce in Texas but are from out of state, don’t worry. Systems in place allow you to resolve the matter without having to live with (or anywhere near) your spouse.